Children and Teens Articles

Adverse Childhood Experiences Affect Adult Behaviors

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Adverse Childhood Experiences Affect Adult BehaviorsAdverse childhood experiences negatively affect adult life, says a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). One in four young adults were severely maltreated during childhood and approximately half of adults in England have suffered an adverse experience during their childhood.

Roughly one in ten adults have experienced four or more adverse childhood experiences. There are many forms of childhood adversity, ranging from physical abuse to emotional neglect.

Why We All Have Fear of Failure

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Why We All Have Fear of FailureSure, fear of failure affects lots of people. But how about you? Let’s start off by taking a short quiz.

Answer each question below honestly:

Social-Emotional Learning is a Must to Reduce Bullying

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Social-Emotional Learning is a Must to Reduce BullyingI’ve heard it said too many times: Social and emotional learning shouldn’t be taught at school because that’s a job for parents.

Good in theory, but in reality, there are many children who lack supportive, loving and safe home environments that promote good values. Instead, these children often experience an ugly side of life that can have a devastating effect on their character and development.

Amazing Dads

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Amazing DadsIn most families, yesteryear’s dad had one major role. He had to go to work and support his family financially. Secondarily, he was brought in for major disciplinary action (“wait till your father gets home”).

No hugs, no kisses, no “I love you” was expected from Dad. Those tender moments, like every other aspect of parenting, were left to Mom. (In those days, she was not a stay-at-home mom, she was just Mom).

Oh, how different things are today. When it comes to parenting, men are no longer relegated to the sidelines. They are not bumbling, clueless dads.

Helping Young People Change: The Key of Motivation

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Helping Young People Change: The Key of MotivationAdolescence: Such a time of turbulence. For those of us charged with helping young people feel better, parent them or educate them, sometimes it can feel like we are on the losing team no matter which trick, technique or skill we try.

Luckily for both sides, we are not willing to give up so easily.

The Psychology of Elliot Rodger

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

The Psychology of Elliot RodgerI’m a bit scared to admit that I actually wasn’t shocked when I watched Elliot Rodger’s now-infamous YouTube video. I was horrified, to be sure, but not surprised.

You would think that it’s unnatural not to feel shock when watching a video of an intelligent, articulate young man relish describing his plan to “slaughter” all of the “girls” in the “hottest sorority.”

But these types of desperate, vengeful fantasies have become familiar to me in my line of work. I have, with some frequency, sat in my therapy office and listened to similar sentiments expressed by more than a few patients over the past several years. There are many more Elliot Rodgers in our country than we’d like to believe.

Finding a Voice within an Authoritarian Social System

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Finding a Voice within an Authoritarian Social SystemOf all the peculiarities that make me up, I could point to one peculiarity which has had persisting and devastating consequences in my 33 years of living: The inability to voice my feelings during stress.

Where Do Bullies Come From?

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Where Do Bullies Come From?I don’t write about my experiences with bullying very often. Maybe I have internalized society’s beliefs that I should have stood up for myself in middle and high school, especially when my peers were doing the bullying. Maybe the shame is more significant because this time, the abusers were my age.

Maybe the messages about “asking for it” are still driving my interpretation of the situation. Sometimes it is even hard for me to believe that I could be subjected to so much cruelty by so many heartless people. I felt as though I was a magnet for abuse.

The Phenomenon of the Selfie

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

The Phenomenon of the SelfieBack in 2005-2006, when MySpace emerged on the social networking scene, I’d be in the backyard snapping photos of myself for my profile picture.

“Lauren, you can point the camera to the outside world, you know.” Oh right, that. My mom did have a point or two, but it was the era of the selfie.

Whether those MySpace shots captured melodramatic teenage angst or glamour fun or autumn joy (yes, I did take a picture of myself in a pile of leaves), the selfie surely made its presence known.

What Happened in Your Family?

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

What Happened in Your Family?Imagine a routine mishap during childhood. A 5-year-old with a turbocharged body is curious to explore his world. Attracted by a sparkling new item Mom has just brought home, he dashes across the room, loses his balance and hits his head on the wooden floor.

Startled, he looks to his mom for comfort and reassurance that all is okay.

The Ultimate Pain: Recovering from Trauma

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

The Ultimate PainRecovery work is painful. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. It is no wonder that I spent two decades avoiding it.

Deep down in my unconscious where the memories were stored, I had determined that the pain of the emotional memories was far worse than spending my life defending against them. And my overactive cortex was happy to oblige.

I could come up with almost anything to justify my feelings or an image that may have flashed in my head. On the bad days, I could keep myself so insanely busy that there was no time to examine anything.

A Parental Guide to Surviving the Teen Years

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

A Parental Guide to Surviving the Teen YearsAre you a parent of an adolescent? Are you so upset with your teen that you’re ready to enroll him or her in the “Witless Protection Program?”

A new identity! Wouldn’t that be a superb solution to getting your teen to renounce his risky behavior, shut her mouth and show some respect, or stop brooding and be appreciative for what she has?

But alas, there is a 20-year waiting list for the Teen Witless Protection Program. So, as a second best option, I offer you alternative ideas about how you might survive those teen years:

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